The Success of the Finnish Education System

“It’s very expensive to educate all of our teachers in five-year programs, but it helps make our teachers highly respected and appreciated,” says Jari Lavonen, head of the department of teacher education at the University of Helsinki. Outsiders spot this quickly. “Their teachers are much better prepared to teach physics than we are, and then the Finns get out of the way. You don’t buy a dog and bark for it,” says Dan MacIsaac, a specialist in physics-teacher education at the State University of New York at Buffalo who visited Finland for two months. “In the U.S., they treat teachers like pizza delivery boys and then do efficiency studies on how well they deliver the pizza.”

The two parts I bolded from this section from the article make an interesting social commentary on how we run our education system here in the U.S. It is hard to say whether the system fully detailed in the article would work in the US or not, as this last quote shows a bit:

Some of Finland’s educational policies could probably be exported, but it’s questionable whether the all-for-one-and-one-for-all-ness that underlies them would travel easily. Thailand, for instance, is trying to adapt the Finnish model to its own school system. But as soon as a kid falls behind, parents send for a private tutor — something that would be unthinkable in Finland. Is Thailand’s Finnish experiment working? “Not really,” says Lavonen. Would that it could, in Thailand and elsewhere.

Whether or not the Finnish school system would work completely over here in the United States or not is certainly debatable. However it is interesting to study and see what possible parts of their system and their way of doing things might be suitable for use here in America.

Both quotes come from page 2 of the article.

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